‘I’d say f*ck them’ – Conlan shocked by Taylor critics

‘I’d say fu*ck them’ was Micheal Conlan’s blunt response when asked about Katie Taylor’s critics.

By her own admission, the undisputed lightweight champion didn’t hit peak form in her latest defence against Firuza Sharipova in Liverpool earlier this month.

Taylor suggested with a mega-fight with Amanda Serrano at stake victory, regardless of how it was achieved, was the most important thing.

The Olympic gold medal winner also suggested the element of pressure, that brought, aligned with Sharipova’s approach didn’t lend to the most aesthetically pleasing performance.

However, it did lead to some ‘decline’ talk. Opportunistic rivals were particularly vocal but others did chime in with some critism.

It’s criticism her former amateur team mate and fellow Worlds and Olympic medalist can’t grasp. Conlan did indicate the display wasn’t as explosive as previous performances and admits it may be fair to say as much, but the aggressive manner of some of the ‘stick’ didn’t go down well.

“It’s silly to question Katie Taylor,” he tells Irish-boxing.com. “Just take into consideration her career, everything she has done, how can anyone give her any stick,” he adds before pointing out she is still an unbeaten champion.

“Look how active she is, one of the most active champions in boxing and she is winning, winning and winning. If people don’t like how it looks who cares. I’d say fu*ck them because this woman is probably one of Ireland’s greatest ever athletes and she is one of the most down-to-earth people you will ever meet.”

Conlan does think the groundbreaking fighter isn’t consulting the sort of form that helped her transform the sport of boxing but points out she still has enough talent to beat her peers.

“Maybe she isn’t vintage Katie Taylor but who is at 36 and she is still winning. To perform as she does and to beat top fighters in world title fights at her age is defying the odds as is. I’d have pakced it up a long time ago if I’d have achieved what she has.”

The Belfast fighter, who challenges Leigh Wood for the WBA ‘regular’ title in Nottingham on March 12, would have no issue seeing Taylor retire after ‘the greatest female fight of all time’, which looks likely for Madison Square Garden and April.

The 30-year-old’s preference would be for Taylor to go out at the very top, although admits she may have other ideas.

“I hope she gets the Serrano fight, wins it and I wouldn’t mind if she ‘listen guys I’ll see her later’. Not many of fighters get to go out at the very very top and Katie could do that.

“There are young fighters coming through and Katie’s getting older. I still believe Katie Taylor beats the majority of them – Serrano is her hardest fight -but she doesn’t need to, she doesn’t need to prove anything. Not that I don’t think she could do it but I don’t want to see her fight into her 40s or anything like that,” he continues before pointing out that despite superhuman achievements Katie Taylor is human.

“Everything comes to an end and one day Katie will retire but people have been saying what more can she achieve for years. I’m surprised she even went pro and what she has achieved in that space of time will never be done again, man or woman.”

If the explosive combination throwing dazzling Taylor is no more could she change up her style and still have success?

“Anyone of her talent and natural ability probably could do that but do I think she will change her style? No!”

Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sport for a living for 19 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com